Here are some frequently asked questions about the ShopMaster eCommerce solution and how it works.
If you do not find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to contact us.
- Setting Up
- My Account
- Store Management
How long will it take to set-up my eCommerce storefront?
We’ll set up your DIY Solution the same day you sign up for an account! One of your key tasks is to load your products. General product entry takes approximately five minutes per product, depending on the amount of descriptive information you have.
In addition, you’ll need maybe an hour or so to familiarize yourself with the shopping cart program.
Why is ShopMaster different from any other eCommerce software I’ve seen?
ShopMaster provides the only comprehensive ‘end-to-end’ eCommerce solution in South Africa. ShopMaster provides a ‘tried and tested’ eCommerce platform, for you to run your eCommerce storefront 100% independently.
At the same time, clients get free technical support and maintenance, so they never have to worry about the technology. What’s more, ShopMaster provides a number of professional solutions and eCommerce services.
Everything is specifically designed to build a truly customer-oriented storefront which will function as a powerful sales tool within your ideal target-market.
Who hosts my storefront?
ShopMaster host and support your storefront on our servers located at the Internet Solutions (IS) server farms in Johannesburg and Cape Town. This provides one of the most powerful, secure and reliable hosting environments in Southern Africa.
Your customers will experience accessibility at speeds that are often 5-10 times the speed of any other provider. International customers are hosted by ShopDirect in Seattle, Washington, USA.
Can I apply for an extra domain without upgrading?
Yes. The standard domain registration costs apply after the one inclusive email has been registered/transferred.
Do I need to know Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) to create/manage my store?
HTML knowledge is not required for you to use your ShopMaster platform effectively. Your administration screen uses a very simple system called, What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG).
This means you’ll be able to manipulate everything from font sizes and colours, to the insertion of tables, images and other media - without knowing anything about HTML!
Do I need any other tools to get started?
You won’t need any extra software, plug-ins or downloads for your computer. In addition, you will be able to manage and run your own ShopMaster storefront from anywhere in the world with just a computer, a browser and an Internet connection.
The ShopMaster system is fully cross-platform enabled (Mac and PC) and 100% cross-browser compatible.
Do I have my own domain name?
Your storefront and all its content and data belong to you and will feature your products exclusively. You storefront will be hosted on your own domain and will not be an extension of the ShopDirect domain.
As part of our service when you sign up for a storefront, ShopMaster will transfer an existing domain OR acting on your behalf, register an entirely new domain name for you. You also get unlimited email addresses!
Can I sell virtual (digital) products online like eBooks?
Most definitely! You can sell eBooks, PDF’s, MP3’s, video files and application files (for software vendors) on the ShopDirect system easily and effectively.
Once an order has been paid for, the system will automatically send the customer an email with a download link for the product. From your administrative console, you can even calibrate how many times that product can be downloaded and for how long!
Is there a limit to the number of products I can sell or display online?
The system has proven to be stable with over 7 million products. The amount of products you list are only limited by the package you choose and if you require more, then can be added at any point.
What if I exceed the number of products allocated in my account type?
You will need to upgrade to the correct package.
What does ShopMaster offer for clients who want to sell more than 1000 products?
You can call us for a quote on this. More products will mean that your platform will need more storage space.
Would I have to pay for extra email addresses without upgrading?
No, you can have as many email addresses as you like.
Does ShopMaster require me to sign a fixed term contract?
Absolutely not! At ShopDirect, we believe that as long as our products and services are of benefit to you and your business - that’s good enough for us. You may discontinue at any time by providing us with one calendar month’s cancellation notice via email.
Always be wary of firms that require you to sign a fixed term contract and always read the fine print if you do!
Do I have sole mandate of my template?
No. The templates are available for use to anyone who purchases a ShopMaster package. You can enquire about purchasing the template outright, so it is removed from our shopping cart. However, you would still be liable for the monthly package.
How much can I change in the template at no extra charge?
The templates come as they are, with font and basic layout options in the backend. You can insert your own logo and text included.
Banners follow the exact style of the banner in the template and you can change the text, images and links through an Excel template provided. Any banner designs will be quoted at our standard rates and we can give you a quote for any further customization you may wish to make.
Do I need a merchant account to sell online?
Yes, if you want to receive online credit card payments from your customers. ShopMaster is fully integrated with Nedbank, ABSA, Standard Bank and First National. We’ll assist you fully in setting up this account which is included in the cost.
With over 60% of all online purchases being made with a Credit Card, an Internet Merchant account facilitates the transfer of those funds into an internet-enabled account with your banking institution.
Is the ShopDirect system safe and secure for online transactions?
Yes, you have the full protection of the ShopDirect SSL certificate which provides 128 bit Secure Socket Layer protection as part of your account. You may also purchase your own SSL security certificate for $150 per year (price may be subject to change - current price quoted on request).
More about ShopDirect’s Security Features?.
Is selling online really safe in terms of credit card fraud?
To date we have had no problems with fraud. We have a fully secure and certified system in place, but we also encourage our clients to follow these guidelines:
- Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
- We would advise clients not to accept any orders from high risk countries.
- A good preventive measure is to ship only to an address approved by the card-holder, as this can be verified by the merchant's banking system.
- Sign up for services offered by Visa and Mastercard called Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode. These require consumers to provide additional information to confirm transactions.
- Do not accept any suspicious transactions.
- Try to obtain a physical address, rather than merely a post office box and a phone number.
- Use the latest available technology like 3-D Secure.
- ID numbers and shipping information are all important steps towards preventing online fraud.
How much of my storefront can I maintain myself?
With the ShopMaster eCommerce solution you will have 100% management control to maintain every aspect of your online business independently. This includes managing orders, adding new products and categories, changing prices, running reports, launching affiliate campaigns and much, much more.
You will also be able to control your eCommerce business from any computer connected to the Internet.
Will someone train me how to use the administrative system?
After signing up for a new storefront with ShopMaster, you will receive an email detailing how to start building your online storefront. A friendly ShopMaster training consultant will then phone you to take you through a fun and informative 30-40 minute training session.
This will give you all the knowledge you need to do everything yourself. There is also an online Knowledge Base and Glossary for your use. Remember, too, that the professional knowledge and expertise accrued by the ShopMaster staff is there for the asking, for as long as you own your storefront!
What if something isn’t working, who can I call?
Call 021 789 0201 Ext 2 to reach our Customer Support centre immediately. Trained staff are on call during office hours (8am - 5pm Monday to Friday) to assist with any problems or concerns you may have. Technical support is provided to all ShopMaster customers free of charge.
So if there is anything that you feel is not running at 100% efficiency, you can call us and we’ll fix it immediately or answer your questions - at no charge to you. Although we are confident that this will hardly ever happen!
How am I notified of new orders?
The ShopMaster system sends a “new order” notification email to you, should you require this service. From the email, you may log directly into your storefront and easily review all your orders in one area.
From this platform you will be able to contact the customer, check for payments, check for potential fraud, send the products off to the client and track the order.
Can I change the price, content or availability of a product at any time?
Yes, simply log in to your backend management platform and edit the details and they will be visible immediately to the public.
Who can I use as a delivery company?
We will provide you with a list of reliable, delivery services that have long-standing relationships with other ShopMaster customers. Setting up this process is very simple and free of charge.
What is drop-shipping and can I run a drop-shipping business through ShopMaster?
Drop-shipping is a specific product delivery method, in which an online retailer manages, processes and accepts payments for an order, but the product is delivered to the customer directly from the manufacturer or supplier.
Once you confirm a direct order from an online customer, the system can be calibrated to send all the necessary details of that order to both your drop-shipper (the supplier or manufacturer with whom you have an agreement) and to the delivery company employed to pick-up and deliver directly to your customer's front door.
ShopMaster can even go so far as to integrate with your drop-shipper's ERP/CRM system, so the stock levels with your online retail storefront remain accurate.
Can customers view the status of their orders?
Yes, ShopMaster allows your customers to log in to their accounts to view the status of their orders or access a number of other useful features. These include maintaining their Wish Lists and adding multiple delivery addresses.
How will internet shoppers find my store?
The ShopMaster system has been fully optimized for Search Engine Registration. This means that whenever you add new products or content, or change existing content, all the major search engines - Google, Yahoo and MSN - are automatically updated to re-index your pages quickly.
What’s more, to launch your store ShopMaster will activate data-feeds to South Africa's top four price comparison engines, including Jump, Price Check, My Kinda Prices and Hotprice. Therefore, ALL your products will be displayed on ALL four price comparison engines - to hundreds of thousands of viewers a month!
Enjoy one free month as a ShopMaster customer within these PPC (pay per click) environments - with no obligation!
To ensure maximum success for your storefront, you must have a sound marketing plan to generate online sales. Search engine submittal, other pay-per-click search engines, product related newsgroups and newsletters can all form part of a successful marketing campaign for your online products.
Can I have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blog links on my site?
Yes, you can insert the link to your social marketing page in the backend and then display direct links from your online shop for marketing purposes.
- Setting Up
- My Account
- Store Management